The mystery of why there were so many police cars in the parking lot of the Greater Trail RCMP detachment on Wednesday is now solved.
In an early morning news brief released Thursday, Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey revealed that in a crackdown on suspected drug dealing, police arrested five men after carrying out multiple drug searches across the City of Trail the morning of March 4.
The RCMP also seized caches of drugs, cash, weapons and vehicles.
Of the five arrests, police confirmed 32-year-old John Allan Schubert of Warfield has now been formally charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking.
He has been remanded into police custody and is expected to appear in the Rossland courthouse today, March 5, at 9:30 a.m.
“The Trail and Castlegar RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) executed multiple drug search warrants simultaneously across the City of Trail on Wednesday, in relation to an ongoing criminal investigation into drug trafficking,” he began.
Dozens of police officers, from across the West Kootenay region, simultaneously descended upon five separate properties to execute, as many, search warrants obtained under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA).
“A total of five individuals, all men, were taken into police custody as a result of the coordinated warrant executions,” he said.
The judicial authorizations have so far yielded undisclosed amounts of suspected cocaine in various forms, cannabis, large quantities of cash, items consistent with the trafficking of illicit drugs, handguns, rifles, shotguns and as many as seven motor vehicles.
“The execution of the search warrants was the CRU investigative team’s next steps, who are committed to dismantling what they believe to be a sophisticated drug trafficking group operating in the Kootenay region,” O’Donaghey, spokesman for the RCMP Southeast District, stated.
“The Trail and Greater District RCMP Crime Reduction Unit and frontline officers will continue to take actions in an effort to reduce the supply of deadly illicit drugs being trafficked in the community.”
The RCMP Crime Reduction Unit was supported by frontline officers from each the Trail, Castlegar, the Kootenay Boundary Regional and Nelson detachments, along with officers from RCMP West Kootenay Traffic Services, the Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment General Investigation Section (GIS) and Cranbrook Forensic Identification Services (FIS).
Four of the five men were held in police custody throughout the day, they were expected to be released on strict conditions, set to make their first appearance in court at a later date.
Once the investigation is complete, the RCMP will forward all its findings to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada for further charge assessment.